Conrado Marrero, The World's Oldest Ex-MLB Player, Dies Just Days Before His 103rd Birthday

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Conrado Marrero, a former pitcher for the Washington Senators, died in his home in Havana on Wendesday -- just two days shy of his 103rd birthday. 

His grandson, Rogelio, told The Associated Press, "He woke up in the morning, and it was like he wasn't there. He wasn't reacting." 

The Cubano right-hander became the world's oldest living former MLB player in 2011. Known as "Connie" Marrero, the pitcher was renowned for his control and presence on the mount, despite his diminuitive frame. Marrero was just 5 feet, 5 inches tall. 

In interviews with The Associated Press in recent years, Marrero recounted the highlights of his career, including facing off against Hall of Famers, such as Mickey Mantle and Larry Doby. And his most gratifying moment? Beating the New York Yankees

Marrero was born April 25, 1911, in the town of Sagua La Grande, about 220 miles easter of Havana. He began his career playing third base, shortstop, and in the outfield. His debut on the mount came by accident in 1935, when his Sagua club didn't have a regular pitcher available. He won the game -- and the team asked him to stay at the position.

The baseball player competed across Latin America, before landing with the Senators in 1950 at the age of 39. He was named an All-Star in 1951, but was cut in 1955. He then returned to Cuba, where he played for the Havana Sugar Kings. He retired for good in 1959.

In his later years, Marrero was blind, hard of hearing and confined to a wheelchair. However, he still found comfort in his ultimate passion: baseball. He spent much of his time listening to Cuban baseball games on the radio, and took special pride in his former days as an MLB pitcher. 

On his 102nd birthday, he reminisced about those days: "Putting on my uniform always made me feel bigger, more powerful."

What a remarkable man! Rest in peace, Connie. 

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About this author

Cristina Arreola, Editorial Assistant

Originally from El Paso, Texas, Cristina Mari Arreola earned her degree at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University before moving to BrooklynNew York. In her downtime, you can usually find her scouring the city for the most authentic Mexican food (still looking...), scaring herself silly watching horror movies, or baking her favorite sweets. You can follow her on Twitter at @c_arreola

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